The other day on a training course a student asked me a question that I couldn’t answer. If you know me then you will know that I am never lost for words!
“Are you spiritual?”
I didn’t know why he asked me. Was it a trick question? I was wearing killer heels. My toes could testify to that. I hadn’t ask the class to recite the words to ‘Kumbaya’. Where did he get that idea from? The fact that I couldn’t give a coherent answer bothered me. Was I too embarrassed to answer…was the question too personal or was it simply that I didn’t know if I was spiritual or not.
I reflected on the question all the way home. This is what I found.
We are all spiritual beings even if we try to pretend we are not. Deepak Chopra put it like …
“You are a spiritual being having a human experience not human being have a spiritual experience”.
So a better question to ask would have been. “To what extent are you practicing your spiritual dimension?” We live in an age where it is embarrassing to follow a religion openly. Talking about your religious beliefs can get you into a whole lot of trouble. Spirituality and religion overlap, but are different. Spirituality and religion get tarnished with the same brush. Spirituality is mentioned in hushed circles. People think that spirituality is code for cult. People accuse spiritual people of being the opposite of hard science. Actually to be spiritual is not hard science it is more than that…it is hard core. To be spiritual and uphold your beliefs in a confusing and conflicting world such as it is today requires courage, determination, resilience and discipline.
What is spirituality?
The first position of the person who exercises their spiritual nature is the unwavering believe that we are all connected by a power which is way bigger than all of us. Call it what you will. God. Energy. The Maker. The Force. Supreme Being. Intelligence. I tend to call this power… The Creator. It is The Creator who turns on the lights with the sun at dawn and turns on the side lights with the moon and stars at night. Everything works like clockwork and in harmony. To the spiritual being this is awesome and they never takes it for granted. Every day is a wonderful day to be alive. The spiritual person never ceases to give thanks. Being grateful is the second position of spirituality. If you spend a minutes being deeply grateful for all the things you have this opens up the channels to The Creator.
The third position of spirituality is developing your own special relationship with The Creator. You can do this in any which way you please. Pray. Meditation. Silent contemplation. Me, I talk to The Creator while I’m cooking…walking…deciding what to eat.
The fourth position is to understand that The Creator works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. You can see his work everywhere. In a random act of kindness…in the sunset…in a perfect moment. The fifth position is to be open to the possibility of miracles. Two thousand years ago it is said that Jesus walked on water. Today we travel in armchairs in the sky…we can talk to anyone from a small device…in our hand…to anyone around the world…Aren’t theses miracles of our time? The sixth position is to know the voice of The Creator. Contrary to popular belief The Creator does not speak in a deep sexy voice like Morgan Freeman from on high. The voice of The Creator is the whisper in your soul. You need to be still to hear the whispers. Listening to the internal whispers can save you years of confusion and doubt.
The seventh position is to be discerning. This means that spiritual people strive to be wise…judicious…humble…and act with integrity.
The eighth position of spirituality is to do good deeds. Many people talk a good game but spiritual people are out there doing good stuff all the time. Doing good things is an expression of The Creator. The ninth position is that spiritual people see the good in all sentient beings regardless of race…gender…orientation or their journey. God doesn’t make mistakes. Everyone has a right to be here. The tenth position is to take responsibility for your life. To get on with it. To have loads of fun. To sing because you are happy and to dance to no one’s tune but your own. Because you answer to no one other than your God. To love people. To go see the world. To eat, love and never forget to pray. To do your thing!
The spiritual path means that you are not alone…just to keep up the Michael Jackson theme… because the Creator and the ones that you love that have passed over are always there with you. Guiding you… supporting you…believing in you. And this in turn give you strength…comfort and meaning. Your life is flow.
Spirituality is what spirituality does
To deny your spiritual side it to be incomplete as a person. Your spirituality is the sexy bit. The bit that make you unique and special. It is the part of you that is connected to everything and everyone. People say that there is no Creator because they haven’t seen him. My answer to that is, you have ever seen your own heart either but you know it’s there. How do you know it is there? Because it is beating and you are alive. Well by the same token you know there is a Creator because the sun rises in the sky every day and the moon comes out at night and that is the heartbeat of the planet.
So if anyone should ever ask me again if “I am spiritual?” this is what I shall say:
“I am a cross wearing, God loving spirit with Buddhist tendencies. I believe in any religion that believes and practices kindness. I believe that religion is an arrival. A point of view. A set of rules to follow. With spirituality there are no rules apart from goodness, kindness and a strong relationship with The Creator. Spirituality is a journey which unfolds with each day and I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey. Spirituality is the gift that just keeps on giving. Thank you for asking and thank you for noticing!”
So I ask you…how you would answer if somebody asked you…
“Are you spiritual?”